Monday, December 30, 2013

Sewing Review 2013

Yearly sewing reviews seem to be very popular in the blogging world and this year I felt I had enough finished projects to put together my own. I didn't realize I'd made so many things! Makes me wonder where the heck I found the time? But to be fair, a few of these projects were started in 2012. As I look back at my sewing projects of 2013 and reflect ... I see some things I'm very happy with and others that could use a little help to look or fit better. But over all I'm pleased with the results. This year I was really good about using fabric and notions that I already had on hand. My goal is to continue the trend in the new year.

Thank you all for your wonderful comments, suggestions, and encouragement throughout the year. I really enjoy hearing what you have to say. :)

I used a gorgeous green silk from Delectable Mountain Cloth and some Edwardian era buckles for trim. The fabric was fussy to work with but so worth it in the end. The pattern was based on a couple different 1920s gowns. You can read all about the construction, inspiration, and actual event here.

 2 - 1940s pants and blouse for Sew for Victory
This is one of those projects that could use a little help. It turned out that I didn't have quite enough fabric for the blouse. I used a large "scrap" of cotton from my mom's quilting stash, which, after washing I discovered had a hole in it. The blouse is a touch too short and doesn't like to stay tucked in so I haven't worn it anywhere. I could piece together what's left to make it longer, but ... meh. I really like the pattern and will most likely use it again. The pants/trousers went together easily enough but I think the pattern needs a bit of tweaking to fit me.

3 - 1860 dress for Gettysburg trip.
This was one of those projects .... I was planning a trip to a history site and suddenly found myself with "nothing" to wear! (Never mind the fact that I already had a perfectly good 1860s cotton dress sitting in the closet!) Does this happen to anyone else? The main reason for making this new dress was that I didn't want to wear the same dress again for pictures at Rob Gibson's Wet Plate Photography Studio. Seems logical right?  Back in high school and my early collage years I was pretty active in Civil War reenacting but when my reenacting group began to fall apart I became more involved in other things. This seven plus yards of cotton, that I actually bought for the purpose of making such a dress, had been sitting unused in the stash for years and was perfect with this project. Easy to work with and easy to pack and travel with. I never did a proper blog post on this dress so I will be adding that to my blog "to do" list for 2014.

4 - Blue and white 1940s dress for birthday.
Back in May I made myself a new dress for my birthday using Hollywood pattern 1413. This was another project using fabric from the stash. :) I really like this pattern but if I make it again the neckline will need a little work. It's hard to tell in the pictures but the neck/bust area has some gathering details which turned out a little funny. The bodice darts needed adjusting but overall it went together well.I wore it with a pair of navy blue gloves and a navy blue straw hat with little yellow and white daffodils.

5 - Green 1950s bridesmaid dress for my friend Erin's wedding.
I was so glad when this dress was finished! The bodice was fiddly and fabric was a nightmare to work with. It looks great in the pictures and was comfortable and fun to wear. However, I don't see myself wearing it again. It's for sale if anyone is interested! ;)

This was a very fast sewing project! Thank goodness 1920s patterns can be simple. This one was basically one big rectangle with an added belt/sash. All the fabric and the shell buckle came from the stash so it cost $0 to make. That's the best kind of costuming project! I wore it to the Greater Boston Vintage Society's Roaring 20s Lawn Party at Castle Hill in Ipswich, Mass.

 7 - Finished purple and white 1760s gown
This gown was started in 2012. Technically this project is not 100% finished because I still want to make a matching petticoat to go with it. But the gown it's self is done. I wore it for the first time to Old Sturbridge Village. The gown is entirely hand sewn and is made from a Williamsburg reproduction cotton print. The fabric came from William Booth Draper but I don't think it's available anymore. I use the same gown pattern for all my 18th century gowns and make minor adjustments depending on the decade I want represent.

8 - Finished white linen mitts and a silk pin cushion. 
I started these in March of 2012 at a Hive workshop. It was a two part workshop where we learned about 18th century trim for gowns, making fly fringe, and mitts. The reason these took so long to complete was the embroidery. The pin cushion is based on one in a museum and is made from a scrap of ivory silk taffeta left from this gown. It's filled will 100% wool batting that came from sheep my family raised and is trimmed with a sample of silk fly fringe I made in the workshop.

9 - Red and white 1940s dress.
Made from a lovely  red and white striped cotton using vintage Advance Pattern 4199. Look for this soon in the "Made by Me" section of my Etsy shop. I'm hoping to add a couple items to this section in the spring.

Not a whole lot to say about this project other then they're curtains! lol! I have already taken them apart and plan to use the fabric for other projects.The dress is the 1860s cotton plaid mentioned above.

My last big sewing project of 2013. Gold/mustard yellow crepe evening dress trimmed with lots of sequins and some Victorian/Edwardian era jet bead flowers. It took about a week start to finish, was easy to make, and loads of fun to wear.

So what's on the sewing agenda for 2014 you ask? I'd really like to complete some more projects that have been patiently waiting in the 'round to it pile. Namely my 18th century shoes, some gown alterations, a basic 1812 era wardrobe, and a few more items for my shop. As for really big projects ... oh I don't, maybe a wedding dress?! We'll see, still not convinced I want that headache.


  1. Wow you have been busy! Lovely dresses :)

  2. Wow, you made so many pretty garments - congratulations :-) I especially like Hollywood pattern 1413 and what a gorgeous fabric you used!

  3. Thank you! The fabric I used for the Hollywood 1413 dress was a very light weight semi-sheer cotton. I had to line the whole thing with white cotton.


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